Marc Stein reported that Leandro Barbosa was receiving interest from the Los Angeles Lakers early last week. With what we saw occur Thursday night in a blockbuster deal that saw Dwight Howard go to the Lakers, there is still one more move to be made to pretty much seal an NBA title.
The Lakers acquired what they needed most and that's a rim protector, somebody who can dominate in the paint. Howard blocks shots, rebounds like nobody else in the league and he's a physical specimen down low who will eat double teams and alter shots.
Big man, check. Point guard who is a true facilitator, check. Someone who is a Sixth Man Award candidate, check. They just need one more player to add to their bench to go along with Antawn Jamison, Steve Blake, Andrew Goudelock, Chris Duhon, Earl Clark and Jordan Hill.
Barbosa is the missing link for the Lakers right now, and if they can get him for the right price, which will be the deciding factor, they should do whatever it takes to make it happen.
His best years came when he was paired with Nash in Phoenix. He averaged his highest points total in three consecutive years while only starting 41 games. He has great chemistry with Nash so the two would coexist from the get-go.
Howard is going to eat up double teams in the post which will leave Barbosa open, as well as others, from outside. He shoots around 40 percent from the perimeter.
Blake and Goudelock are good players, but there needs to be another player added to the roster. Someone who has the experience, can shoot from outside and can create his own shot. Barbosa is that guy.
If the Lakers sign Barbosa for the 2012-13 season it would be the signing that would give the Lakers the upper hand on the NBA championship. They would shrink its biggest weakness which is guard depth.